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Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech to hold workshops on pallet recycling


BLACKSBURG, Va., March 17, 2009 – Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in Virginia Tech's College of Natural Resources, and the United States Forest Service will hold a "Pallet Recycling" workshop at four Virginia locations this spring.

Pallets literally move the world; an estimated 2 billion pallets are in use in just the United States every day. However, pallets have a short life span and create significant costs to companies, not only because of purchasing and disposal costs but also because of operational expenses. Pallets also are responsible for 2 to 3 percent of all waste landfilled in the United States, despite the fact that technologies and markets exist that allow pallets to be re-used, repaired, recycled, converted into other products, or turned into mulch, boiler fuel, or alcohols (ethanol).

The “Pallet Recycling” workshop will be held in four different locations from March through May:

  • March 26 at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (HEC) in South Boston, Va.;
  • April 9 at the Major Hillard Library in Chesapeake, Va.;
  • April 30 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va.; and
  • May 5 at the Raymond E. Santmyers Youth Center in Front Royal, Va.

The workshop will introduce industrial pallet users, pallet producers and recyclers, landfill operators, woodworkers, and entrepreneurs to the world of pallet recovery, repair, reuse, and recycling. Pallet procurement and maintenance cost reductions, innovative applications for used pallets, recycling opportunities, and ways to run a profitable pallet business will be discussed, using examples from industry. The workshop also will offer opportunities for participants to network with peers, suppliers, and buyers.

For more information, visit the workshop’s webpage or contact Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Cooperative Extension and Department of Wood Science and Forest Products in the College of Natural Resources, at (540) 231-9759.